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Punjabi festival Lohri being celebrated with fervor

On Monday, Families and friends will gather around a bonfire in traditional clothes for an evening of rituals, dance, music and food.Lohri, also celebrated in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, is believed to be the longest night of the year. Groups light a bonfire and offer rewari, peanuts, jaggery, popcorn and sesame seeds, while singing and dancing around it to the beats of the dhol.In some parts, a small image of the Lohri goddess is made with cattle dung and decorated. A fire is lit and groups chant in praise of the goddess. In other parts, the Lohri fire just has cow dung cakes and wood. The festival is especially significant for the new-born and newly-married couples in Punjabi families.

A community formed on a social-networking site had a Lohri get-together on Saturday. Apart from the bonfire and the Punjabi dhol and DJ, rewari, gazak and peanuts from Punjab were offered to the 300-odd guests. “Many Punjabis in Pune are a part of the community group on Facebook. We are all away from our families and hometowns and thought Lohri was a good reason to get together and celebrate. We organized our programme on Saturday so that many people could join. While 80% of the attendees were Punjabis, the event was open to others as well,” said Jasmeet Singh Sahni, who put together the Lohri function.The festival is also being celebrated in several housing societies across the city. Restaurants have picked up the occasion to organize food festivals and celebrations themed around Punjabi food like sarson ka saag, makke-di-roti, bhatti da murg, Amritsari fish, Gajrela, aloo vadiyan and more. Some plan to light the bonfire on Monday evening.

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